Petal & Pins

Category: travel

Garden Cameo

We recently swapped our Australian Autumn for a bit of New York Spring. That required hopping on three planes and over 24 hours of travelling time from walking out our front door to reaching our destination!

The antidote to jet lag and such a long journey? Wandering around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

This ‘cameo’ view is in the Cranford Rose Garden which first opened in 1928. It has one of the largest collections in North America, over a thousand kinds of roses are cultivated.

Although we were too early for the roses to be blooming we were there at the perfect time for the Japanese tree peonies and the bluebell wood in all its glory – a beautiful and gentle start to a whirlwind ten days of sightseeing, trade show exhibiting and catching up with friends!

Ripples On Water

I’m a little late with my first blog post for 2019, our January trip to exhibit at Top Drawer London S/S had us on the go from day one.

But as February starts to disappear the beginning of a new week has spurred me to dive back in and what better inspiration for a post than participating in Cathy from Rambling in the Garden’s In A Vase On Monday!

I have a small clump of Amaryllis belladonna growing in my garden but this big bunch I was given by my neighbour.

These lillies are a bit ‘now you see me now you don’t’  – with warmer than average weather this summer and everything looking a bit dry and a little jaded, suddenly in gardens and paddocks up pop the ‘naked ladies’, prettiness that belies hardiness.

After using some to design a lily dress for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe I have arranged the rest with white agapanthus, some branches from a deeper pink flowering shrub and some greenery.

This time last year we were excitedly planning our trip to Japan and on the weekend we finally hung the beautiful drawings we bought at the Oedo Antique Market in Tokyo.They are actually technical drawings – designs for obi, the sash worn with a kimono. The market seller had a large pile of them with other trinkets laid out on a cloth. I hovered rather impatiently as someone before me went through cherry picking a lot of the most beautiful ones!

Of the two we chose I had thought the other one – a lush arrangement of peonies and chrysanthemums was my favourite but now hung, one each side of the fireplace, the simplicity and serenity of this one beckons me to pause, imagine myself on a river bank, glance through the over hanging branches and watch the ripples dancing on the surface of the water.

 

Scribbled

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One of the things I love about stepping out in a big city is the fabulous window dressing you see.

When I was in Tokyo this mens shoe store display caught my eye, it’s deceptively simple but carefully and artfully arranged.

The suspended writing (a play on pinstripes?) gives a sense of movement and the nonchalant lean of the umbrella is positioned just so that you can almost sense an imaginary hand resting on the handle.

I photographed a Melbourne window display back in 2014 that also used script in a clever way, appearing in reverse you needed to look at the shadow to read it.

Anyone care to have a go at deciphering what the scribbly man says?!

 

 

Swept Away

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I’ve been procrastinating writing about our trip to Japan – where to start? A place of contrasts and beauty couldn’t be contained in one post.

There is intricacy and simplicity.

A riot of colour and then a tonal quietness.

This morning I decide to start with the leaf sweepers at Meiji-jingū, Tokyo’s largest and most famous Shintō shrine. The sprawling forested grounds contain some 120,000 trees collected from all over Japan.

I was facinated by the simplicity and make shift look of the brooms, they reminded me of the ones I’d seen street sweepers using in Venice, Italy.

They obviously do the job they’re designed for well – perhaps a reminder that sometimes we can over complicate things.

Besides they have such charm don’t you think!

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Here is a link for making a Japanese broom for sweeping your own cobblestones, gravel path or moss garden.

http://japanesegardening.org/reference/bamboo_broom.html

 

The Inbetween

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There is always a moment on a long haul flight that I like to just gaze out the window and get lost in my thoughts.

It’s the inbetween, when I’m hours from my departure city and still a way from touching down at my destination.

If it’s on the way to somewhere as opposed to heading home it’s laden with anticipation of new experiences and inspiration.

This was that inbetween moment on our way to Japan in May.

petal & pins Mothers Day card and Perle d'Or card

 

Seasonal

In November Mr Petal & Pins and I headed to Adelaide to do our 4th Bowerbird Design Market.

We love this event for all sorts of reasons – and although it’s work it’s also lots of fun, although not so much the 4am start to catch our flights (2) to get to Adelaide in time to set up!

We get to share our story and products directly to consumers and chat with other designers and makers from all around the country running creative businesses just like us.

And then there is the food…our favourite this time was from The Seasonal Garden Cafe. Their endeavour is to celebrate seasonal produce serving simple, peasant food that is guided by what is available from their cafe garden and from the gardens of local growers – and they certainly delivered that in a very delicous way!

Equally impressive was their stand display so I took some photos to share with you.

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Sunday’s Garden

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On a recent trip to Melbourne we went back to Heide – this time with friends, picnic supplies, and time to linger.

These are a few of the photos I took of the Heide II kitchen garden in which Sunday Reed worked daily until just before her death in 1981. It’s a beautiful serene garden so I can imagine the joy of being in it daily – despite the sign warning to be aware of snakes!

 

 

Bewitched

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Last weekend we headed to Launceston to participate in the Blooming Tasmania Flower & Garden Festival and it was a chance to also wander around City Park and to see the Spring display inside the John Hart Conservatory (I shared the Autum display back in May)

Outside in the park the Rhododendron were particularly spectacular but in the conservatory it was the Witch Hazel that caught my eye!

I’m tempted to find a spot in my garden for it as the sprays of pink fringed flowers would be very pretty in a vase and a welcome sight in the garden at the end of winter.

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In doing a little online research on Witch Hazel varieties I think I actually may have a yellow one in my garden – I also discovered there is  a hybrid variety – Hamamelis vernalis called Sandra!

Gertrude

Being in a different city is always fun and although there wasn’t time to go exploring when we were in Melbourne last month for the trade fair the walk each day back and forth to the Royal Exhibition Building from our air bnb pied-à-terre was down Gertrude St Fitzroy with it’s wonderful and eclectic shops.

Always closed at the times we were going past we could only window shop and take pictures – but the great restauarants, bars and cafes were, so we ate well and after four days we had some new favourites we hope to get back to on our next visit!

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